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ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-140113-18
Identification of an evx1-Dependent Joint-Formation Pathway during FIN Regeneration
Ton, Q.V., and Iovine, M.K.
Date: 2013
Source: PLoS One 8(11): e81240 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Iovine, M. Kathryn
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animal Fins/growth & development*
  • Animal Fins/metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Connexin 43/metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Homeodomain Proteins/genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins/metabolism
  • Joints/metabolism*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/genetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Regeneration/genetics*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors/genetics
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
  • Zebrafish/metabolism*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
PubMed: 24278401 Full text @ PLoS One

Joints are essential for skeletal flexibly and form, yet the process underlying joint morphogenesis is poorly understood. Zebrafish caudal fins are comprised of numerous segmented bony fin rays, where growth occurs by the sequential addition of new segments and new joints. Here, we evaluate joint gene expression during fin regeneration. First, we identify three genes that influence joint formation, evx1, dlx5a, and mmp9. We place these genes in a common molecular pathway by evaluating both their expression patterns along the distal-proximal axis (i.e. where the youngest tissue is always the most distal), and by evaluating changes in gene expression following gene knockdown. Prior studies from our lab indicate that the gap junction protein Cx43 suppresses joint formation. Remarkably, changes in Cx43 activity alter the expression of joint markers. For example, the reduced levels of Cx43 in the sof b123 mutant causes short fin ray segments/premature joints. We also find that the expression of evx1-dlx5a-mmp9 is shifted distally in sof b123, consistent with premature expression of these genes. In contrast, increased Cx43 in the alf dty86 mutant leads to stochastic joint failure and stochastic loss of evx1 expression. Indeed, reducing the level of Cx43 in alf dty86 rescues both the evx1 expression and joint formation. These results suggest that Cx43 influences the pattern of joint formation by influencing the timing of evx1 expression.